Gray Matters

You know the feeling: you’re starving, and you really want a burger, but all you have is salad, so you eat the salad, and technically you aren’t hungry anymore because the salad was huge and had lots of avocado and sunflower seeds and stuff like that, but it wasn’t a burger, so you aren’t fully satisfied.

I spoke to a friend today who asked for the lowdown on how it feels to be the mom of a donor egg baby. Is it everything that it promises to be? Is it worth the financial cost, the emotional roller coaster of hope-turned-grief, and the risk of having yet another miscarriage? Or should she consider moving forward with her life and live child-free.

She wanted an honest answer, so I gave it to her. It’s kind of like a salad. It’s good, but what I really wanted was a burger. And I’m not fully satisfied.

I’m not sure who these women are who say that a donor egg baby is the same as an own-egg baby. That they never think about the donor again after getting a pee-stick positive, seeing the heartbeat, feeling a kick, or whatever other milestone is met. I guess these women exist because boundless baby bliss is all I ever heard about, but all I know is that I’m not one of them.

I think about the donor all the time. She’s who I see when I look at my daughter’s smile or wonder how I’m going to tame those crazy eyebrows. She’s the person I think about when my husband talks about the family that we’ve built. She’s what comes to mind when I see that my kid should have met some developmental skill and I wonder what consequences there’ll be from being deceived about my donor’s smarts on her profile.

This haunting motivated me to meet today with a therapist who specializes in infertility and third-party reproduction. I love my long-time therapist, but I’m not sure if she can help me with what I’m going through. As I mentioned in my last post, when I asked her why I’m feeling disconnected, she said that the why didn’t matter and that I just needed to work on connecting with my kid. You know: “process my intimacy issues.”

She’s wrong, I think. I think it does matter. If I’m uneasy about qualities in my donor that I see in my daughter, I need to work through that. If my involvement in the donor egg community is making me think too much about my baby’s conception, then I need to find a new distance with that world while still respecting whatever responsibility I owe my daughter. If there remains a shit ton of grief at the loss of my genetics, then I need to resolve that, too. And yes, process my intimacy issues blah blah fuck you.

So was my baby pursuit worth it in the end? I think so, but it’s not exactly black and white. Raising my daughter is a million thousand times better for me than being childless, but it hasn’t been easy. She isn’t a burger, but she is pretty damn good, and what I hope is that this work will turn these salad days into salad days.

About TG

My eggs don't work, so I've manifested a baby via egg donation. Let's blog and see what happens.
This entry was posted in Donor Egg Parenting, My Head, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Gray Matters

  1. Always impressed by your honesty and the beauty with which it’s communicated. And hey, any post with the word “fuck” is a friend of mine.

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  2. You will get there. I think lots of ladies feel like that, even with their own babies. The connection will come. Good luck.

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  3. Kristi says:

    I really appreciate your post and the honesty about how you really feel. I am expecting my donor egg baby and the EDD is tomorrow. I have many of the same questions and concerns on how I will feel about my son. Then I try to remind myself that I really want to be a mother and would have been happy to be a mom even if I had to adopt. I love my husband and I am happy to be able to at least carry on his genes and to carry a child. I guess I have the approach that beggars can’t be choosers and at this point it doesn’t matter how I will get there as long as my dream of having a child will come true.
    I am so happy you are posting again and have been thinking about you.

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  4. Beldee says:

    I completely understand what you’re saying, and I have felt similarly at different times. An infertility therapist is a great idea, I don’t think generalised therapists cut the mustard when it comes to this subject. It is hard eating salad when you wanted a burger, but the salad is really tasty, and it nourishes you, and provides you with something essential you really wanted. I love my salad, and when I think about burgers I try to remember how lucky I am to have some salad, as opposed to say congee. I didn’t want congee, so salad in comparison to congee is a blessing. Still, it’s definitely clear cut, neither is it a burger. Sometimes I wonder how incredibly delicious that burger may have been. But then again, maybe it would have been one of those disappointing burgers, soggy, too much sauce. In the coming months and years I don’t doubt that you’ll see the benefits of salad, how good salad makes you feel, and I bet you’ll start telling everyone how salad is delicious, that you love salad. Sorry for taking your salad metaphor to such extremes :-\
    I’ve found some of the podcasts on this website http://www.creatingafamily.org very useful, to help me deal with that pesky issue of infertility grief.

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  5. A. says:

    I love the double entendre in your title for this post! And I love the truth-telling. It’s really alienating when everyone else who talks about this acts as if it’s no big deal, especially when (unlike adoption) you’re stuck working through your stuff solo because the Husband didn’t have it give anything up.

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  6. grace says:

    I am leaving a comment mostly to just say that you’re blog has meant a lot to me as I worked through the whole donated egg issue. I hope that seeing a specialized counselor works great for you. And that salad is good, maybe you haven’t finished grieving the loss of the burger? Burgers are yummy and it’s super sad when every one around you is eating burgers and you just want a goddamned burger and it’s not fair that you don’t have a burger. Also, I might be projecting slightly.

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  7. I just want to hug you and sit with you and tell you that yes you will get there one day, and your daughter will be that burger and so much more. I promise.

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  8. shewithrotteneggs says:

    As I sit on the cusp of transferring a donated embryo, I recalled this post and wondered how you have progressed.

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    • TG says:

      Really well, actually. Turns out it’s like any relationship: in time, we get to know each other, and we like each other more and more. There’s more to it, but that’s the gist.

      Wishing you the very best in this cycle. I know you’ve been through a lot. I’ll be thinking of you.

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